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This paper investigates the consequences of electing a female leader for fiscal and service outcomes. A dataset of districts in Indonesia with close election results between male and female mayoral candidates from 2005 to 2017 is used. This study employs a randomisation-based inference in regression discontinuity design to deal with non-random assignment of female leadership. The results show that per capita expenditure on health, social protection, and infrastructure are higher for districts that are governed by female leaders. Also, female leadership improves citizen access to both assisted birth by health professionals and safe water. Finally, the findings show that female-led districts have more prudent budget management while neither fewer nor more corruption cases.
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